Harrison Ford in hospital with serious injuries after his plane crash lands on Santa Monica golf course

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Harrison Ford is in hospital with serious injuries after his plane crash-landed on a golf course in Santa Monica.

The 72-year-old star deliberately brought down the plane after losing engine power in what experts are calling a ‘beautifully executed’ manoeuvre.

He was pulled from the wreckage by golfers and course workers who saw it come down about a quarter-mile short of the runway at Santa Monica Municipal Airport.

Doctors, who happened to be playing a round of golf, rushed to his aid.

Ford was taken to hospital conscious and breathing.

His publicist Ina Treciokas said in a statement that he had no other choice but to make an emergency landing and added his injuries ‘are not life threatening and he is expected to make a full recovery’.

Ford took off from the airport at around 2pm and around 20 minutes later he told the tower he had engine failure and was making an immediate return, according to a recording posted by the website LiveATC.net.

The plane had been flying at about 3,000 feet (914 metres) and may have hit a tree on the way down, according to witnesses and officials.

The yellow 1942 Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR was upright and mostly intact after the crash. No one on the ground was hurt.

Christian Fry of the Santa Monica Airport Association: ‘I would say that this is an absolutely beautifully executed – what we would call – a forced or emergency landing, by an unbelievably well-trained pilot.’

Charlie Thomson, a flight instructor at the airport who saw Ford take off, said engine failure like Ford’s does not make the plane harder to manoeuvre. ‘It just means you have to go down,’ he said.

Ford had a cut to his forehead and scraped arms, but it wasn’t clear what internal injuries he may have had, Los Angeles Assistant Fire Chief Patrick Butler said.

‘He wasn’t a bloody mess. He was alert. He had good vitals,’ Butler said.

The bystanders pulled him from the plane because they were afraid it might explode or catch fire, Butler said.